Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Jim Farley, 57, is seen as a potential heir to Chief Executive Jim Hackett, who took over in May 2017.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Ford Motor Co. on Friday shook up its top management, naming strategy chief Jim Farley as chief operating officer of the No. 2 U.S. automaker and promising skeptical investors the company will kick a slow-moving turnaround into a higher gear.

Ford’s move positions Mr. Farley, 57, as potential heir to chief executive Jim Hackett, who took over in May, 2017. Mr. Farley is currently president of new businesses, technology and strategy but will now be responsible for all global operations as well as future technology such as self-driving cars.

News of Mr. Farley’s promotion and the retirement of automotive president Joe Hinrichs, another potential CEO candidate, effective on March 1, came three days after Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford saw its shares slide following a disappointing forecast. On Friday, Ford shares were off as much as 2.8 per cent to their lowest price since January, 2019, and finished the day down about 1.7 per cent.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Farley told Reuters that Ford needs to move more quickly, especially around taking advantage of the software, data and connectivity in its vehicles including commercial vehicles. Mr. Farley added that Ford was “deep” in partnership talks with digital companies to improve its customer experience.

“We put a lot of new cost and capability in these new vehicles,” Mr. Farley said in a telephone interview. “We have to get a lot quicker in taking advantage of them. We do not have two or three years to figure out how we use connectivity in the F-150 and our new electric architecture that we launch later this year.”

Ford is in the midst of a global restructuring and faces slumping demand in China, its second-largest market. Mr. Hackett said on a conference call with reporters that the company needs to move with greater speed, echoing what some investors have said.

“It’s my judgment the time is to move with urgency now to fully integrate and accelerate Ford’s transformation,” Mr. Hackett said.

“We’re now in execution mode and what the company needs is to come together,” Mr. Hackett added, saying he had no plans to leave the company after almost three years on the job and it was the board’s role to manage succession.

Analysts and investors have speculated how long Mr. Hackett, 64, will remain as CEO and whether an internal executive or an outsider will succeed him. Ford’s struggles, including a poor launch of its new Ford Explorer SUV and rising warranty costs, have only heightened speculation.

Ford restructuring is far from complete. It said on Tuesday it has booked US$3.7-billion of the projected US$11-billion in charges it previously said it would take, and expects to book another US$900-million to US$1.4-billion this year.

Story continues below advertisement

In China, Ford lost US$771-million last year, about half the 2018 loss, and its market share there has shrunk. Ford has been struggling to revive sales there since its business began slumping in late 2017, and now the world’s largest market has been hit by a fast-spreading coronavirus that has killed more than 630 people.

Another key element for 2020 is Ford’s planned introduction of a fully redesigned F-150 full-sized pickup truck, its top profit generator, as well as the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV and the Ford Bronco utility vehicle.

Mr. Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales and went on to lead Lincoln, South America, Ford of Europe and all of Ford’s global markets in successive roles. He previously worked at Toyota Motor Corp.

Mr. Farley is credited, along with Mr. Hackett, in forcing the redesign before its introduction of the Mach-E and the decision to make it a Mustang vehicle, leveraging that iconic brand. Mr. Farley has owned seven of the cars starting with a 1965 model he restored when he was 14 years old.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies